Hello, and welcome to the Leadership Done Right podcast, Episode 16: 3 Great Stories To Make You A Stronger Leader.
Every leader goes through trials and challenges at some point in their leadership journey. They come in the form of getting your opportunity to be a leader, making positive change, or getting acceptance of those you lead. There are also many other instances where leadership if difficult and trials come. As we go through each challenge, we grow, learn, progress, and they make us a stronger leader.
3 Great Stories To Make You A Stronger Leader
In this episode, we are going to look at three different stories that help give you strength through the difficulties of leadership to become a stronger leader.
Story #1 — Trees Growing In Nature
In nature, trees that grow up in a windy environment become stronger. As winds whip around young saplings, forces inside the trees do two things. First, they stimulate the roots to grow faster and spread farther. Second, the forces in the tree start creating cell structures that actually make the trunk and branches thicker and more flexible to the pressure of the wind. These stronger roots and branches protect the tree from winds that are sure to return. (This is an excerpt from the speech, Spiritual Whirlwinds, by Neil L. Andersen.)
Lessons From Trees
I like this because it is the same for leaders. As we go through challenging times, we gain experience that helps us in the future to be a stronger leader. We learn from the difficulties and become better leaders as a result.
Story #2 — Darren Hardy
In the Forbes article, How Speaking Skills Turned A Common Man Into An Uncommon Success, by Carmine Gallo, Carmine shares the following story of Darren Hardy.
Darren Hardy’s parents divorced when he was 18 months old. His mother didn’t want him, so he lived with his dad who he compares to the drill sergeant in Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket. Hardy openly shares his background with his audiences because his personal story reinforces the theme that common people can find uncommon success if they turn their perceived weakness into a strength.
“Your adversity is your advantage,” Hardy says. “Going through abandonment issues is the reason I’m vigorously self reliant, self motivated, goal oriented, and results driven.”
Hardy’s “results” are extraordinary. A serial entrepreneur since the age of 18, today Hardy is the publisher of SUCCESS magazine and the author of the new book, The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster. Today the man who only completed one semester of college and admits to not being born to the ‘right family,’ or having the ‘right education,’ or the ‘right contacts’ commands more than $1.5 million in speaking fees alone.
Lessons From Darren
We can learn a lot from his experiences. Often I hear people say that because they didn’t grow up in the ideal circumstances, they can’t do what others have done or be great. That is absolutely false! Our challenges and difficulties can make us stronger, more experienced, and overall just better. As a result, we gain a better understanding of ourselves and can be more equipped to handle the future challenges that come our way.
Story #3 — Pat Flynn
On Pat Flynn’s website, he explains:
“I graduated from college with an architecture degree and went to work for an amazing architectural firm as a Job Captain. I was thriving in my career and had no plans to leave it—but there are some parts of life we can’t control.
The downturn in the economy hit my industry hard. In 2008, just a few months before my wedding, I was laid off from my job.
This could have been a terrible time in my life, but it wasn’t, thanks to a little website I had built on the side to help me study for an architectural exam.
In the days before my job ended, I found a way to turn that website into an income stream, and in the process, changed my life.
The real power I found during that time was that I could take control of my future. Running an online business built around passive income allowed me to spend more time with my new wife—and shortly afterward, our first child—and I wanted to share the techniques I learned with other people in similar situations.
When I started Smart Passive Income back in 2008, my goal was simple: share the strategies that have helped me grow my online business. Since that time, it has become remarkably easy to find advice on internet marketing and starting an online business—but what has gotten harder is finding ethical advice that has been properly tested.”
Lessons From Pat
Pat’s website SmartPassiveIncome.com started as a small business just to survive, but since that time it has become a source for good in the online community. He teaches a wide variety of internet business topics, mostly for free through his podcast, YouTube channel, and blog posts. He also does extensive charity work for others, especially those who are underprivileged.
Pat is now a leader in the online business community and has helped countless people to better their lives. None of that would have happened if he had not been laid off from his job.
So what are the takeaways from these stories? When you are in leadership, it is easy to get down on yourself, lose faith in your ability to lead, or want to give up altogether. Don’t do it! Often our biggest challenges happens moments before our biggest breakthroughs before you become a stronger leader. Don’t give up! Try to learn and improve with every situation so you are better and more prepared for the challenges that are still ahead of you. That will help you become a stronger leader.
I wish the very best for each of you in your individual challenges. They are not easy. Sometimes the challenges even seem insurmountable, but you are up for it. You can overcome your challenges and be successful. And, guess what you may be the next great leader in your organization that everyone looks up to and admires!
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